Alvarez reinstated from DL, optioned to Triple-A

A healthy Alvarez remains at Indy

The Pirates announced today that third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been reinstated from the disabled list and assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Alvarez has been on the disabled list since May 20 with a right quad strain. He hit .208/.283/.304 in 138 plate appearances before suffering the injury, and has produced a .235/.386/.382 line in 44 rehab plate appearances split between the Gulf Coast League, High-A Bradenton and Triple-A Indianapolis.

“Pedro remains a big part of our future, but we believe making this move is the best way to get him back on track offensively and defensively so that he can help us win games at the Major League level,” said General Manager Neal Huntington.

The Pirates are sending a clear signal with this decision. They are focused on making the playoffs this season and are not going to simply run Alvarez out there everyday if they do not feel he is the best option at third base. Whether that is the smart strategy remains to be seen, but it further emphasizes a shift in organizational philosophy away from a purely futuristic mindset.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next three weeks or so. If Alvarez finds his stroke in Indianapolis, the Pirates are unlikely to keep him in Triple-A too long. However, this also opens the door for Huntington to add a third baseman via trade. The Pirates have received little production from anyone playing the hot corner this season, so it would not take much to upgrade substantially.

Alvarez, who received a major league contract right out of college, is now out of options. EDIT: Just to clarify, Alvarez’s final option will only be used if he spends at least 20 days in the minors.

Author: Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KKKRNZSI2KNHYKV74DIIGPBORA MarcH

    I think you may be jumping the gun on the message sending. 

    By optioning Alvarez, he will be able to gain a full week of extra abs, since the AAA all star game isn’t the same thime as the mlb all star game.

    • http://pittsburghlumberco.com/ MattBandi

      I could have worded that better.  I didn’t really mean that the team is sending a message to Alvarez.  Just that they are sending a clear signal about their mindset right now.

  • Anonymous

    Marc I think you are right. Once Alvarez appears to be in playing shape, he will be back. But I like Matt Bandi’s point that the Bucs are not just going to run him out there because they hope he can do it. Meanwhile, we are a SMALL-BALL team, and Harrison, with his speed and contact hitting fit nicely they way we play offense right now. What a FUN season! Go Buccos!

  • Anonymous

    Any chace they try Alvarez  a few games at 1B during this stint in the minors?

  • Anonymous

    Can’t believe they burned his last option. To me, that indicates a decision to leave him at Indy…maybe while he gets some time at 1st. Hague can also play 3rd, right?

    Speculation other places Pirates may be trading for a 3rd sacker. Reynolds, a strike out king, and Ramirez, who has a no trade contract, are being mentioned the most. Anyone you guys can think of? Young, with Texas, comes to my mind.

    • http://pittsburghlumberco.com/ MattBandi

      I edited the original post.  If he is down less than 20 days, they do not need to use an option.

  • Anonymous

    He doesn’t need anymore distractions. Let him concentrate on hitting before they start moving him to different positions. Right now his bat is more valuable than his glove.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O2TWPV66ZGB6SJYHZWTVUWDGFI john k

    They had until july 17 to make this move.  Why do it now ???

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47507100 Dehn Unterzuber

    Good move to get him some more AB. 

    I have said it before but if he doesn’t start producing than he can be safely declared a bust with the Pirates. That doesn’t mean he won’t flourish somewhere else like Bautista. But with this organization possibly not.

    Let him play thru the break and see what happens. But keep some eyes on the market and see what type of talent can be had. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KKKRNZSI2KNHYKV74DIIGPBORA MarcH

      I disagree completely…he’s been in the majors for less than a year.  Were you ready to proclaim Warren Morris as a lock to be a regular?  Did you think Jack Wilson was a bust when he was stuggling and sent down in his first year?

      Lets give Pedro a little more time, shall we?

    • Anonymous

      Pedro was one of the most productive hitters in the big leagues the last two months of the season last year.  Yes he has struggled this year, but way way way to early talk about getting rid of him.

  • Lee Young

    Dehn/Marc (sorry….couldn’t resist the pairing).

    I have not been in Kdro’s corner since the beginning. I think he has too many holes and will be LUCKY to hit .240-.250 with 20+ HRs in the majors.

    However, that being said, as a Pirate fan, I hope I am completely wrong.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KKKRNZSI2KNHYKV74DIIGPBORA MarcH

      He could be a bust, a middle-of-the-road player or a superstar, but labelling him anything with a year of mlb service is just absurd.

      • Lee Young

        I ‘love’ strong words like ‘absurd’. Marc, I don’t believe I labeled him at all (btw, only 1 ‘l’).

        RIGHT NOW, Kdro has too many holes in his swing to live up to his #2 status. THAT is not absurd. More than a few scouts have pointed that out. I ain’t smart enough to come up with that on my own.

    • Todd Smith

      Based on his first 472 at bats in the majors, he projects to .244 with 22 HR and 92 RBI over a full season.  

      • Lee Young

        And that same ‘projection’ gives him almost 200 K’s. Hence the nickname K-dro.

        Those stats aren’t what I wanted out of the #2 pick in the draft.
        =================

        On another tangent, I hope G Cole turns out great, but wouldn’t it have been nice if Bryce Harper had stayed in HS? We’d have gotten to pick him #1.

        • Todd Smith

          22 HR  and nearly 100 RBI is something you DON’T want from a rookie?

          In Buster Posey’s first 160 games, he hit 22 HR and 88 RBI.  Imagine how disappointed the Giants are that he turned out to be such a bust too.

          • Lee Young

            Ok…….I’ll take Posey. You can have Kdro.

            :=]

            • Lee Young

              And, of course, Posey hit .294, K’d only 90 times and played above average at Catcher.

              You’re right, I’ll take that at Catcher (and as a rookie).

              Just so we don’t end up doing this all week. I am clearly stating an opinion, as you are. You are using stats and forming an opinion. I am using stats and some scouts’ opinions. It’s ALL opinions.

               As a Pirate fan, I HOPE I AM WRONG!

              :-]

  • Anonymous

    ARAMIS!

    for Bobby Hill??

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2K6ELYRR4HJLX6NRSWPSJ6IZ7E Jeremy

      Can you explain the option situation?  I thought players had three options.  I don’t recall them optioning him before now, so wouldn’t this be his first?  Or is there a different situation when a player gets a MLB contract?

  • Lee Young

    This on Alvarez, from Huntington on PA’s swing and his options.

    ” But Huntington said the Pirates’ often narcoleptic offense — they
    rank 12th in the National League in runs and 13th in homers — is
    “irrelevant” to the timetable for Alvarez’s return.
    “The league has adjusted to Pedro, and he needs to adjust back,”
    Huntington said. “When he drives the ball to left-center field, he’s
    dangerous. But when (his swing) is too big, he’s an easy out.”

    If Alvarez, who received a major league contract after being drafted
    second overall in 2008, spends more than 20 days with Indianapolis, he
    will have used his third minor league option.

    Normally, players are limited to three options. But Alvarez should be
    eligible for a special fourth option next year because he will have
    used three options before completing his fifth full professional season.
    Read more: Pirates’ Alvarez return detours through Indy – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/pirates/s_746082.html#ixzz1RhhhHWOu